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Hey guys, and welcome to Piano Lesson #29. I am in a good mood because things are going nicely, with the website coming up and all that stuff.
Today, we are going to talk about pedal techniques. We will give you guys two different pedal exercises that you can do. One is a beginner one that anyone can do. The second one is going to be one that is a little bit more advanced, but it is fun in its own way.
The second one is actually taken from another book from a teacher. I am going to give credit to them because I do not want to be recognized for other people’s stuff and then passing it up as my own.
The first thing I want to do is explain a little thing about the pedals. We will be working with the damper pedal. If you are looking at it, there is the pedal on the left, the pedal on the middle, and the pedal on the right. The pedal on the right is the damper pedal, and I explained a little bit about this in Piano Lesson #7, I think it was. If you did not see that or you do not quite remember what the damper pedal is, or what it does, you can go back and check that one out. I think it is the second half, because I had to split them I halves back then. I think it is in the second half of Piano Lesson #7.
I want you to look at this. What we are going to do here is—this is the first pedal exercise I want you to do. We will be playing with the bottom part of our foot here. As you can see, I am not wearing socks so that you can see my foot a little bit better, and also because I forgot to put them on and I just realized this now. I was not exactly going anywhere, so I just did not put socks on. You can laugh at me if you want, go ahead.
When we play with the pedal, we want to play it with the ball of our foot. I am not sure if you can see that, but this part, right here. (Demonstration) I am just do it like that. Most people are not like that. So, we will be playing with the ball of your foot here. You will put it on the edge of the pedal, on the right side, and you push down with your foot. You will not be moving your whole leg. (Demonstration) Well, if that is what makes you happy, but for concert purposes, I would suggest in not doing that.
We are going to press the damper pedal or the pedal on the very right, all the way. Whenever I say damper pedal, that means the pedal on the very right. It is the right pedal. We are going to press the damper pedal down all the way. Now, all the strings are open and they could vibrate as much as they want and make as much noise as they want.
We are going to have some fun here. We are going to make a whole bunch of noise, like that animal guy of the Muppets, (Demonstration). Now, I need you to play a chord. I want you to play a C major chord. (Demonstration) I want you to get rid of the noise and, so what we are going to do is pull the pedal up and push that down again. Now, we only have the C major chord sound.
Let us say, this a damper pedal here. It goes down and presses it down all the way. When we are changing pedals, we will not go all the up and all the way down. We will go all the way close to the top. Maybe it is from the top chord and then go back down all the way to the bottom.
If we come all the way up, we will have this little gap like a hiccup that you can get, and it does not sound very good. It is the equivalent of saying that, you need to take a breath when you are swimming. You are doing the crawl and then all of a sudden, you just leap out of the water like a huge salmon, and splash down to the water.
What I am trying to say is by just swimming to the right surface—not all the way up to the surface but just before the pedal finishes. Hold it then and push it back down. That way, you will keep some of that sound in there. It would not sound so abrupt and it sounds better that way.
What we are going to do is hold down the damper pedal and go through this one more time. I will hold down the damper and push that all the way to the bottom. Now, we are going to make noise, (Demonstration).